You can love them or hate them, but there is no denying the fact that Dan Brown's books have taken readers through a lot of beautiful places. And if you are one who has been bitten by the travel bug, it is difficult not to visit those places.
After making Robert Langdon run around Rome, Paris, Washington, and Florence in his earlier adventures, Dan Brown is back and this time he takes the Harvard symbologist to Spain. We bring you four places in Spain that are featured in Dan Brown's latest offering, 'Origin'.
Santa Maria de Montserrat
The book starts with the description of a train clawing its way up a dizzying incline with the key character Edmond Kirsch, a futurist, to a timeless abbey in Catalonia, Spain. It is here that Kirsch first makes his discovery public. A discovery which 'will not just shake your religious foundations but shatter them'.
This Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat is around 1200 meter up in the mountains and offers an amazing view of Barcelona. The journey up the hill is spectacular, and the crowd puller is the statue of the Black Madonna, the patron saint of Catalonia. However, it is the famed library of Montserrat that Dan Brown takes us first.
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Even if Dan Brown had not written about this museum in 'Origin' the museum at Bilbao was all set to grab the limelight this year. And the spotlight is on the Guggenheim Museum, which, is celebrating its 20th birthday. It is also the main venue for the earth-shattering event that ends with a mystery that Robert Langdon has to solve in Origin. And that is not all, it is here that we meet Winston, the AI and Ambra Vidal, the curator of the museum - Langdon's companions for the adventure in this book.
A far cry from old buildings that Dan Brown normally sticks to in his books, the Guggenheim Museum is just twenty years old and is a striking shimmer of steel. The titanium-clad work of art is Canadian architect Frank Gehry's most famous work.
The works of artists Louise Bourgeois, Eduardo Chillida, Yves Klein, Jeff Koons offer a different perspective before you enter the museum. The atrium, the heart of the museum is a signature Gehry design. Once inside the art, the sheer glass work and curved walkways add to the allure of the place.
Casa Mila or the La Pedrera is a modernist building in Barcelona designed by Antoni Gaudi. It 1984 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is in the attic of Casa Mila that Edmond Kirsch has made his temporary residence. And it is here that Robert Langdon goes hunting for clues. You can go for a guided tour of the La Pedrera - there is one in the morning and one at night.
La Sagrada Familia
If you have just one day to spend in Barcelona and you love art and architecture a visit to La Sagrada Familia is mandatory.
The construction of Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and it is a work in progress. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, Sagrada is expected to be completed by 2026. And when it will be completed it will have 18 towers of which 12 will represent the apostles, four will represent the evangelists and one will represent Virgin Mary and the tallest and the one in the middle will be dedicated to Jesus Christ.
The Nativity Facade that was created under Gaudi's personal supervision is a place you can enter. The spiral staircase pictured on the cover of Dan Brown's Origin is one of the ways up to the tower.
There are other prominent places like the Cathedral at Seville, the Royal Palace, The Almudena Cathedral, Parc Guell and the Valley of the Fallen that find a mention in the book. Do visit them if you have the time.
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